The town of Bluffton’s Strategic Plan for fiscal years 2017-18 is now available via the town’s website, townofbluffton.sc.gov. The 34-page, two-year strategic plan establishes the framework for guiding policy and financial decisions. The plan is also a flexible tool, helping Blufton Town Council align town resources with strategic priorities to best benefit the residents and business owners of Bluffton. The action plan is divided into six strategic focus areas: May River and surrounding rivers and watersheds, town organization, economic growth, fiscal sustainability, community quality of life and infrastructure.
Bluffton has been recognized by the Municipal Association of South Carolina for outstanding management of growth while implementing plans to keep the historic Old Town area a charming community center. The municipal association credited the town’s long-term strategic planning as an example of successful planning.
Cornerstone Church in Bluffton has reached an agreement with the town to allow public parking in the church parking lot adjacent to Calhoun Street. Parking will be accessible every day, with the exception of Sundays between 8:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m., the annual Bluffton Village Festival, and the Christmas at Cornerstone Festival. This will make an additional 55 parking places available to the public.
Bluffton leaders are working to update the town code to include a more comprehensive set of rules and regulations for public docks and boat ramps. Current town code only refers to the “Bluffton dock,” though there are now three within the town limits, and does not address ramps or piers at all. The new rules will address safety concerns as well as make sure that the docks are not being monopolized by commercial users.
Locals who are playing Pokémon Go, the latest version of the Pokémon franchise in the form of a smartphone app, can head to the Bluffton library to train their Pokémon and battle with other players. The Bluffton library has embraced its status as a Pokémon “gym” and has created a display area announcing what team is currently in control of the gym. Ryan Easterbrooks, the librarr’s director of children’s programs, plans to keep the excitement going with a Pokémon club in the fall. Coligny Plaza and Bluffton’s Old Town are also popular local destinations for players.
Tanger Outlets Hilton Head is offering shuttle service between its two shopping centers in Bluffton. The service will continue through Aug. 31. The shuttle runs daily from noon to 4 p.m., departing Tanger 1 every 30 minutes on the hour and half hour, and Tanger 2 on the :15 and :45. The shuttle stops at Tanger 1 will be behind Shopper Services and across from Saks Fifth Avenue OFF 5th by the gazebo. The shuttle stops at Tanger 2 will be behind Shopper Services and at the crosswalk by Kilwin’s Chocolates & Ice Cream and the Salty Dog Restaurant.
The town of Bluffton will be installing six signs to identify coves that drain directly into the May River and to remind town residents and guests not to litter. Two signs will be placed at Heyward Cove on Bridge Street, two at Huger Cove on Bridge Street, one at Verdier Cove and one on Lawrence Street.
The waiting is the hardest part. Those who have endured three years of the Bluffton flyover construction project connecting Bluffton Parkway with the bridges to Hilton Head Island can finally exhale upon its scheduled June 30 completion.
With what began in May 2013 as a 30-month project — with one delay pushing back its original November 2015 deadline — the $45 million capital improvement will transform the traffic flow on and off the island along U.S. 278. Incoming traffic from the mainland and traffic coming off the island should experience considerable ease of travel, less congestion and fewer delays.
On May 3, the Beaufort Country Board of Education approved Denise Garison, who has been an educator for 30 years, to replace current Bluffton High School principal Mark Dievendorf when he retires on June 30. Garison most recently served as principal of Jack Britt High School in Fayetteville, North Carolina, where she had a strong track record of academic growth and on-time graduation.